YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE ON THE OCEAN TO ENJOY SEAFOOD! WE’VE ROUNDED UP OUR FAVORITE RECIPES FROM FRIENDS, READERS AND OUR RECIPE BOX. ENJOY!
BY TOM LINDHARDT
A fun and unique dinner, albeit quite easy, is to do a shrimp boil. All you need to get started is a large pot to boil water and lots of stuff to add to it. This dinner can be a real crowd pleaser too. My favorite part of this meal is dumping the fresh, steaming pot out on the table in front of the guests and watching as everyone digs in! (This method may not be COVID friendly).
Also commonly called a Low-Country Boil, there are plenty of recipes and tips online. The more you make it, the more successful you’ll be, and you can experiment with different ingredients. I started doing boils about 16 yrs ago after I was taught by my brother, who was taught by his neighbor. They did it regularly as neighbors and friends. We have done this for our family many times, and I have done it for church groups for 12 years in a row until COVID put the tradition on a temporary hiatus. I ended up buying a couple of 80-quart pots and strainer baskets, but we did it for years with our multiple kitchen pots and slotted spoons. If you have big pots, you can use a propane cooker outside or just do it on your kitchen stove with your pots. We have done it for as few as three to four people and for groups of 150.
The process is very basic:
- Get a pot and boil salted water. Fill the pot a little less than half-way full. Careful not to overfill so you don’t overflow the pot once you add the ingredients.
- Add the ingredients and seasoning in order of longest cook time to shortest: potatoes and carrots first, with shrimp last.
A FEW TIPS:
• Get the pot of water to a good rolling boil before you add any food.
• Bring the water back to a rolling boil as quickly as you can after adding each food.
• Drain the water very thoroughly before dumping the pot out on the table. There is always more water with the food than you think there is.
• Only use 4-6 carrots per person. Shrimp and Sausage will be most popular. Have at least 1/2 pound of protein per person.
• Use wax or poly lined freezer paper as your tablecloth. It makes for easy clean up.
• Use raw shrimp.
• Pre-cooked shrimp almost always ends up shriveled and tough.
• Once the shrimp has turned white, it is cooked. Don’t overcook shrimp.
• Thaw the shrimp prior to cooking. Frozen shrimp cools the boiling water a lot.
• Use precooked sausage.
• Have some seasonings and hot sauce to put on the food as you eat (Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning is my favorite).
• Use plenty of crab boil seasoning. I like Zatarain’s; it’s cheap and readily available at most grocery stores.
YOU CAN USE ANYTHING THAT SOUNDS GOOD, BUT HERE IS LIST OF ITEMS WE LIKE TO USE AND THE APPROXIMATE COOK TIME:
• Shrimp, 2-3 minutes
• Smoked Sausage/kielbasa (pre-cooked) 2-3 minutes just to warm through
• Potato – Small works best 10-12 minutes
• Corn on the cob 6-8 minutes
• Fresh (peeled) garlic cloves or whole bulbs 6-8 minutes
• Baby Carrot 10-12 minutes
• Onion 8-10 minutes
• String Beans 4-6 minutes
• Mushroom 3-5 minutes
• Cabbage 6-8 minutes
• Brussel Sprout 6-8 minutes
• Zuccchini 4-6 minutes
• Asparagus 3-5 minutes
Click the links below for more delicious seafood dinners!